Franciscan Health Hammond was recently recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as a Gold Safe Sleep Champion for their commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep. The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program was created by Cribs for Kids®, the only national infant safe sleep organization. Based in Pittsburgh, Pa., Cribs for Kids is dedicated to preventing infant sleep-related deaths due to accidental suffocation. As a Nationally Certified Safe Sleep Hospital, Franciscan Health Hammond is recognized for following the safe sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and providing training programs for healthcare team members, and family caregivers.
“Sleep-Related Death (SRD) results in the loss of more than 3,500 infants every year in the U.S.,” said Michael H. Goodstein, M.D., neonatologist and medical director of research at Cribs for Kids. “We know that modeling safe infant sleep in the hospital and providing education to families has a
significant effect on infant mortality. Cribs for Kids Hospital Certification Program is designed to recognize those hospitals that are taking an active role in reducing these preventable deaths.”
At 7.1 percent, Lake County’s infant mortality rate is higher than both the State of Indiana’s and the nation’s, according to the most recent statistics.
Susan Marcek, manager of the Family Birth Center and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Prenatal Assistance Program at Franciscan Health Hammond said that the work put in to promote safe sleep practices has paid off, not only with the recognition, but also in lower infant mortality
numbers. “In 2020 and 2019, those losses have gone down for the first time, and it’s due to practices like safe sleep,” Marcek said.
Along with education, the Prenatal Assistance Program has partnered with Mental Health America to provide free, safe cribs for families that cannot afford them.
“Gaining the Gold Safe Sleep designation is a recognition of the emphasis that Franciscan Health Hammond has placed on prenatal and postnatal health. We’re pleased to be a small part of the huge effort in Indiana to prevent the loss of these beautiful, little lives,” Marcek said. The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program was created in partnership with leading infant health and safety organizations such as All Baby & Child, The National Center for the Review & Prevention of Child Deaths, Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs, Kids in Danger, Children’s Safety Network, American SIDS Institute, Charlie’s Kids, CJ Foundation for SIDS, and numerous state American Academy of Pediatric chapters and health departments. According to Judith A. Bannon, Executive Director and Founder for Cribs for Kids, “The certification program launched in 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pa., home of the Cribs for Kids national headquarters. Hundreds of hospitals across the U.S. are certified. We welcome Franciscan Health Hammond to this expanding group of committed hospitals. This will have a profound effect on the saving babies’ lives.”
For more information on the Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification program visit cribsforkids.org/hospitalcertification.